Apple Thinks Small, Debuts iPhone SE and Smaller iPad Pro
For their release event on Monday, Apple seemed to be thinking small, so to speak. The company unveiled the iPhone SE, which is a smaller 4-inch model, as well as a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro model.
Scaling Down the iPhone
The iPhone SE features the same A9 as the current flagship model, the 6S, as well as the same graphical capabilities as the 6S. Also taken from the 6S is the SE’s 12 megapixel rear camera. Apple’s M9 motion co-processor runs the motion sensing capabilities in the SE, allowing the motion sensor to run all the time without greatly impacting battery life. Overall, the iPhone SE is built out nearly identically to the current flagship iPhones, but the SE features the smaller 4-inch silhouette. The only missing feature from the 6S is 3D Touch.
At the unveiling, Apple made a point of reiterating how many iPhone users prefer the smaller form factor. The company noted that it sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones last year, nearly 8% of the iPhone’s total worldwide unit sales for the year. To take a quote from Phil Schiller’s presentation, some people “simply love smaller phones.”
Pre-orders for the iPhone SE will open on Thursday, with units shipping on the 31st.
The iPad Pro Goes Small
From the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Apple’s new iPad model brings the screen size down to a more travel-friendly 9.7 inches and weighs in at less than a pound. The new iPad borrows many features from the iPad Pro, including the quad-speaker audio system and support for Apple Pencil.
The new 9.7-inch iPad model will still be referred to as the iPad Pro, but will be differentiated in stores from the 12.9-inch model by its screen size. Pre-orders will also begin on Thursday and units will ship on the 31st. Prices start at $599 for the 32GB version, $749 for 128GB, and $899 for 265GB.
Security and Encryption
CEO Tim Cook also took the time to reiterate Apple’s position on the recent FBI iPhone encryption debacle. Cook started the event by saying that Apple feels a responsibility to customers to keep their data secure.
We believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and protect your privacy. We owe it to our customers, and we owe it to our country. This is an issue that impacts all of us, and we will not shrink from this responsibility.
You can read his letter to customers, which talks about Apple’s stance on security and user’s data, here.